What’s your favourite kind of vacation?
Personally, I love road travel because the car gives you the opportunity to stop or change itinerary when you want without respecting schedules; it’s just you, what you want to do and your car.
There are many destinations for a perfect road trip with breathtaking landscapes and things to discover, but then I thought why not discover Italy by car. And so I started my little road trip to Italy.
I spent a week organizing. First of all, I made a list of the things I absolutely wanted to see, then I checked the roads and where it would be more comfortable to stay in the end I made a program that would allow me to have precise directions on the itinerary. Although I would not follow the planning in every single detail, it was helpful because it allowed me to have a general idea of the area and not to waste unnecessary time.
I chose the car for two main reasons; the first was for the freedom to go wherever I liked and have the opportunity to stop if I saw something that deserves a photo or a visit and the second was because I think it is the best way to travel in Tuscany because it has a lot of hills and cities not connected very well by public transport.
If you need help on How to organize a trip check out my post about road trip planner with google maps.
Best places to visit in Tuscany by car
As I was explaining earlier I only spent a few hours in Florence since this was not the first time for me in this city, but every opportunity is wonderful for me to take new photos, especially now that I think I’m a bit improved, and also I never mind coming back to see wonderful cities.
I have always heard of Siena for the famous Palio di Siena but more than Piazza del Campo I had never seen anything else and I was really surprised by this beautiful city. On top of a hill surrounded by walls and gates, the only way to enter the city is the beautiful medieval city of Siena. I have to say that the first day the entry into the city was a nightmare; my hotel was in the centre near the Duomo and most of the streets inside the walls are traffic-limited; although the hotel had given me a special pass to enter I could enter by one specific door and if you are strangers to this seems complicated the first time. Anyway, after this little setback, everything was amazing, hotel, people, places and, of course, food.
From Siena, I did some day trips always in Tuscany. Siena is the perfect place where to start these trips because they are all less than one hour drive.
You probably know Volterra for the Twilight film because the film New Moon was set with Volturi in Volterra. From Siena, after 1 hour by car, I reached the city of Volterra on a splendid Tuscan hill. Surrounded by walls the city is a medieval town to be discovered; Its history began around the 8th century and you can see the remains of the Etruscans, the Romans and then the Middle Ages. Volterra is also famous for alabaster; in fact, you can find beautiful pieces made with it, I know because my parents bought a beautiful chess board made with alabaster and I’ve always seen it at home since I was born.
2. San Gimignano
The second day of travel was in San Gimignano. It took me only 43 minutes to get from Siena and I spent half a day in the city. Also, San Gimignano is located on a hill and also this is a medieval town; the city is really well preserved and is famous for the twelve towers in perfect condition.
Another city to visit in Tuscany is Certaldo. 41 minutes from Siena this city is famous because Giovanni Boccaccio was born here. Certaldo is divided into 2 Certaldo Alta and the Certaldo Bassa. The most authentic part is Certaldo Alta and you can reach it on foot, by car or by cable car.
4. San Chiusdino
The best day trip in my opinion was to San Chiusdino. San Chiusdino was unexpected. I was planning to visit the Abbey of San Galgano but with the price of the ticket, there was also a ticket to visit the museum of San Chiusdino. So, I did a quick search and found that it was a beautiful country and that it deserved to be visited; also as the cherry on top I also had the most delicious lunch of all holidays.
The last day trip to the beautiful region of Tuscany was to Monteriggioni. Wow, I can’t describe the beauty of this place because it’s too much. Above a hill surrounded by walls and towers, small but incredible this city is the ideal place for an afternoon trip. I highly recommend (like all the other places I visited) Monteriggioni because it is a little gem in the Tuscany countryside.
After these beautiful days in Tuscany, it was time to move to another region to find out more about the beauty of Italy. I decided to discover Liguria a small and incredible region bathed by the sea with beautiful locations right in front of the Ligurian Sea. From Siena, in about 2 hours by car, I arrived in La Spezia which I used as a starting point for all the other places.
In Liguria I decided to visit the Cinque Terre and Portovenere and for convenience, I decided to book a hotel in La Spezia. From La Spezia, you can reach the Cinque Terre by train and these are the stops I made.
How do you get to Cinque Terre?
From La Spezia are very easy to reach; you can go by car (more difficult) or my advice by train. There is a railway line that very often crosses all the Cinque Terre and is the best option to visit these places.
What are the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre?
Cinque Terre meaning Five lands; in particular we are talking about Vernazza, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Monterosso Mare and Corniglia. To my tour, I also added Porto Venere not so far from the other towns. All these six with two other islands have become part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1997.
The vacation was over after seven days but before going back to Venice I decided on the last stop to Parma. Parma is in the Emilia Romagna region and it is really well known for the prosciutto di Parma.
Do you want to read more about these beautiful landscapes and cities? Sign up and do not miss any posts.
Do you like road trips? Where were you last?